Glossop Record Club returns in March for the first of three consecutive sessions helmed by guest curators.
On April 10th, rock & roll historian (and a familiar face at GRC sessions) Bill Jubb hosts an evening centred on the legendary impromptu ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ session at the studios of Sun Records in Memphis featuring Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. And on May 8th, author of Last Shop Standing Graham Jones will be sharing his tales of the UK music industry and record shops.
But before all that, on Thursday 13th March, Glossop-based singer-songwriter Steve Roberts presents Merseybeat, an evening of music from Liverpool including a landmark album by The Beatles and a lost classic by Rockin’ Horse. There’ll be records by other Liverpool bands too from the 1960s to the present day (get looking through your records to see what you can bring) and quite possibly a lively debate on what constitutes Merseybeat post-1960s.
Here are a few words from Steve about the session:
Merseybeat was a sound that changed the world, or, at the very least, the music industry. The sound was prominent for merely three years or so in the 1960s, and the band that defined it were also the band that killed it off. The Beatles.
They killed it with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (although Revolver in 1966 had already caused a wounding), an album that at the time was as revolutionary as the band’s initial impact. Music was now an art form treated with the same deference as Monet or Henry Moore. Sgt. Pepper is a colourful blast of invention and soundscapes, wordplay and mad imagination. All recorded on a 4 track tape machine in the first half of 1967.
Musicians back in Liverpool found it hard to adapt in this new musical landscape and fell from public consciousness, but they never stopped playing music. In fact many of them still do so 50 years later.
One of Liverpool’s unsung musical heroes is Jimmy Campbell. A maverick in any sense, his is a tale of missed opportunities and a reckless life. Well-known on the local scene throughout the ‘60s with The Kirkbys and The 23rd Turnoff, in 1971, along with Billy Kinsley of The Merseys, he formed Rockin’ Horse with the specific intention of playing a simpler music – of going back to the cellars and dance halls and reviving Merseybeat. The album Yes It Is was of course doomed to failure, but it is a wonderful slice of power pop packed with melody and wit. Billy continued to find success with Liverpool Express in the ‘70s, while Jimmy dropped completely off the radar with only a couple of ignored solo albums to show for it. He died in 2007.
Merseybeat defined Liverpool as much as country and western did Nashville or jazz in New Orleans, and for a short while it ruled the world.
We’ll be listening to both albums in full alongside music by other Liverpool acts – from the original Merseybeat boom of the 1960s, the city’s re-emergence as a musical force in the 1980s, to the Britpop era in the 90s and beyond. Here are a few choice names to get you going… The Big Three, The Searchers, Deaf School, Echo & The Bunnymen, The La’s, The Real People, Cast, Shack, The Coral… That’s not even the tip of the iceberg.
Merseybeat with Steve Roberts
Thursday 13th March, 8-11pm.
Glossop Labour Club, Chapel Street, Glossop, SK13 8AT.
Click here for venue and travel details.